The first thing I would say is that the Rage X and the SDP are very different shirts. They are made of totally different material. So there isn’t really a break in process for the Rage X like there is for the SDP. Since you are new to bench shirts I would keep slowly working the boards down week by week though. You’re going to want to spend some time figuring out the groove of the shirt and what it will take to touch. . I would also encourage you to focus on figuring out your shirt for the time being since you aspire to compete equipped. I wouldn’t worry too much about your raw strength while you’re doing that. Equipped lifting and raw lifting are very different and hard to improve at the same time. I would definitely recommend staying with the deload every third week unless there is a very good reason for not doing it. Equipped lifting is very hard on your body. You’re going to need that deload every third week, especially during meet prep. You will spend a lot of time in your gear and the weights will get heavier and heavier. You will get beat up quicker than raw lifting.
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